A Word About Consumer-Oriented Strategy:  How can a company tell if they have it?

Do you really know if your product is meeting the needs of a market?  Consumer oriented product strategy may just be the answer that takes you beyond UX and UI.

Consumer-oriented insight enables business leaders, product marketers and managers  to rise above the rest.  Consumer oriented product strategy enables companies to deliver products to markets with greater success.

Companies can take three different approaches to product development

1)      Create a product and then make sales and marketing efforts to convince consumers to consume the product the way it was programmed.  Companies following this approach tend to claim their product works by design when customers indicate the product should perform differently.  These companies operate under an ‘if you build it; they will come’ premise.

2)      Understand the market and embrace the consumer first involving the consumer heavily in the design and development process as the product is built.  Customers are placed first in all decisions and all product offerings are consumer-oriented with a 360 degree approach to user experience and design.  A customer using a technology product from a company following a consumer-oriented strategy would never hear the words ‘by design‘ as an excuse for not delivering to the customer’s expectations.

3)      Develop products somewhere in between numbers 1 and 2.  This is where most companies operate.  The closer a company is to consumer-oriented strategy (number 2), the more successful they will be because their customers will be much more satisfied.  Of course customers do not always know what they want or what is best so product management must be strategically balanced between the two worlds.

Note that many companies begin with a consumer oriented strategy and then backslide to the ‘by design’ mentality.  Backsliders usually operate under the auspices that they’re following a consumer-oriented strategy.  They do not realize they have slipped completely away from a consumer-oriented product strategy. 

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